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  • Brush truck getting stuck

    Our department is having an issue with our Ford F550 bursh truck getting stuck off-road and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions. The standard tires are 225/70 19.5's and I am thinking about some sort of flotation tire for the front. We are in a rural county outside of Houston and the soil has a LOT of clay in it. When it's wet, the truck doesn't make it 2 lenghts off the pavement and goes down in the front. The largest tire that I can find is a 265/70. If anyone has any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    As I've said before we run pick ups & jeeps where I'm from and I've only seen our truck stuck once ( atleast when I'm around) I understand you run bigger trucks out west, and If your running a F550 that is probably just a little heavy in the front end atleast when it's wet out. Do you see where I'm going with this? Take care.

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    • #3
      SS,Talk to your local tire dealer,I believe there is a "float"type tire for these but it takes a "trick"wheel to use it.Also remember that truck has ABS brakes so it is imperative to keep the tire diameter the same.A winch(if you have room)might not be a bad investment. T.C.

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      • #4
        I bet the truck is a diesel too. That would add extra weight to the front, since a diesel motor is heavier than a gas motor. You can try a wider tire but I don't think you will have any better luck because of the weight issue. Just my thoughts.

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        • #5
          Some of the 'brush trucks' I see these days are ridiculously huge. I think some people confuse 'brush truck' with 'mini-pumper' and wind up being ill-equipped for off road operations. A truck with compartments all over the back and a four door cab and running boards and a tank and a pump and a diesel with factory size street tires just doesn't get the job done. Brush trucks have to have off road capability and that means keeping the weight down!

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          • #6
            ChiefSquirel, we are going to be having this issue when building our brush truck this spring. The fire Department wants a brush truck (eg: one ton with a skid unit, or something along those lines). The Rural Fire Board wants this truck to cary our extra set of jaws and have a whole bunch of storage space. What they're envisioning is a F-550 with a "service body" and about 300gal of water. I think they're missing the point of a "brush truck". I think it's ok to go the F-450 - 550 route, but with a skid unit only. I think if they want to load it up to the max GVW, we're going to be sinking this truck.


            Mike

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            • #7
              Check out this:

              www.ricksontruck.com

              They can help you with tire sizes for your 19.5s

              I would love to see someone get one of these with 100 gallons of water:

              www.aev-conversions.com

              It is the Brute conversion for the Jeep Wrangler. It essentially makes it a small pickup. Google it and you will find more pics.

              Also, get an ARB air locker for your diffs or Detroit Locker to pull you through.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all of the input on this gentlemen. As far as the way the truck is equipped...A regular cab F550 with a steel diamond plate bed with a steel skid unit & a 300 gallon tank. There are no large storage boxes on the back and we only carry about 300 extra pounds of tools and hose on the back. The truck is a 6.0 diesel and has a front-end replacement with brush guard and 12,000lb winch. Other than that it's stock.

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                • #9
                  Sounds like you are just front heavy.That is a problem with most super duty trucks,they hit mud and sink.Diesel plus the ranch hand is a lot of weight.You need a wider tire and some sort of posi trac up front wouldnt hurt.Have you looked at going down to a smaller wheel so that a bigger tire would fit.Not sure how that would affect the weight rating,but might give a bigger footprint.
                  Firefighter/Paramedic Seven Hills Fire Rescue Mobile,AL

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                  • #10
                    I believe you need a thin tall tire, Michelin makes a tall thin tire that might fit your need. You need to get down to the bottom where there is solid ground to get traction. Just my opinion. Check the manufacture to see their recomendations.
                    Ed

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                    • #11
                      brush truck

                      Our dept. located in eastern PA. replaced a 1972 Dodge pickup one ton with a 2002 ford F-350. 4 x4. Both trucks had single tires in the rear instead of duals. Both gas engines. Water tank is 300 gal. poly. A 300 psi portable pump was used. Only problem getting stuck is in spring brush fire season when ground is soft
                      Last edited by G Koons; 01-25-2007, 06:09 PM. Reason: update

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                      • #12
                        A brush truck needs to be small, quick, light, and maneuverable. In the springtime, or when it’s soft, I like to get a firefighter out front to scope out the ground. If they sink even an inch, it’s going to be too soft for the truck. Some of our guys have ignored this, and usually they become the recipients of the “golden chain award”.

                        Stay Safe

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                        • #13
                          RE: tires

                          Originally posted by supersarge View Post
                          Our department is having an issue with our Ford F550 bursh truck getting stuck off-road and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions. The standard tires are 225/70 19.5's and I am thinking about some sort of flotation tire for the front. We are in a rural county outside of Houston and the soil has a LOT of clay in it. When it's wet, the truck doesn't make it 2 lenghts off the pavement and goes down in the front. The largest tire that I can find is a 265/70. If anyone has any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated.
                          Have u ever thought of getting ur hands on some michilin military tires they are great for everything.

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                          • #14
                            Brush Truck

                            A F-550 can only be a brush truck under ideal conditions. Once things turn to poop it has nothing going for it. If you want to get off the road with something small and heavy duty that wont self destruct or bend when you try to yank it out you need something built for the job. The company I run with has a Mercedes Benz UNIMOG, you pay plenty more up front but you can rest assured that you can probably do everything you wanted to do and then some. These trucks are built like tanks and one feature is the ability to pull 800,000 pounds on level ground without destroying the driveline.
                            METZ AERIALS: "SO EASY A CAVEMAN CAN USE THEM"

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                            • #15
                              Poochy,Hi thin is OK for surfaces that are slimy with a bottom.Useless in soft or sandy conditions with NO bottom.There you need "floats".Trouble with floats on a 550 is you need a wheel with a trick center so you can hang them without rubbing on vital parts.A 550 with a diesel is nose heavy and a sinker.Like the Baron says,a 'mog is damn near unbeatable but expensive and getting harder to come by.I run two 350's with fat front tires (not in FS work)and both will sink like a stone in soft ground.A 550 has heavier components(and usually "taller"gears)and they sink even quicker.Hard as it is to believe a military M37(or equivalent)will usually outperform the 550's off road.A lot of folks build their brush trucks around here on 550's and I've seen mixed results off road,not many real good experiences here. T.C.
                              Last edited by Rescue101; 02-05-2007, 12:39 PM.

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